Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Keeping in touch

Living with an architecture student is a bit like living with a ghost, and my own busy schedule doesn't help. D and I can go for days without crossing paths, but we sense each other's presence in the apartment. While that sounds sweet, it is not very practical for things like reminding each other to pay the rent. Hence, the chalkboard you can't miss.

DSC_3378

DSC_3377

I mounted it on the inside of our front door and made it magnetic (a genius idea I got from Design Sponge). It used to look like this...

Frame, originally

Frame, originally, detail

All the frame needed was a scrubbing, a coat of primer and a couple coats of bright yellow spray paint. A quick trip to Home Depot got me a piece of wood cut to size (tip: look for the remnants section and see if you can get a sweet guy to cut it for you free of charge) and a piece of sheet metal. I was lucky because the frame opening is 12 x 24" and the sheet metal came in that size so I didn't have to deal with cutting it. My parents already had chalkboard paint, so I borrowed it and carefully painted several coats on the metal, sanding gently between coats for a smooth finish.

Total cost was around $20. If I'd had to buy the chalkboard paint, it would have cost another $5, but one can of that stuff can paint a whole lot of chalkboards so you should look into sharing with someone.

Finding a good frame is the key here. Go to thrift stores and look for wooden frames that are actually kind of ugly or over the top. Lots of carving is good. It might look really dated in dark wood, but it's going to look great once you paint it.

Cost breakdown:
Frame (from St. Vincent de Paul thrift store): $7
Spray paint (marigold shade from Painter's Touch line) + primer: $6
Wood cut to size: $0.51
Sheet metal: $6


*This tutorial is provided for personal use only. Please do not sell this tutorial or create items for re-sale using this tutorial. Tutorial may be re-published only with my permission.

39 comments:

  1. soo cute! i absolutely love it - especially the yellow :D

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  2. How wonderful. This is how to make an entry way special.

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  3. we have chalbords in every room but I will say I might just HAVE to spray one this beautiful yellow. I LOVE it!!!!

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  4. that frame has perfect little nooks and crannies and the color complements them wonderfully.

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  5. I'm going to St. Vinnies TONIGHT! That frame is so amazing, honestly, this is so, so neat!

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  6. this is exactly what i want to put together for our place. i had a handle on finding a frame (i agree with you, i love the crazy carved stuff) and rocking the bright paint, but i was utterly at sea when it came to putting together the board backing - your instructions are so great! lovely work, as always.

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  7. love, love, love your style!
    how charming is this?
    i can't wait to show this to my husband, put it on our list of projects, & go hunting for a nice frame.
    thanks for another brilliant idea, rachel!

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  8. Awesome. That looks so good! I have a $1 frame sitting in my garage that I was debating btw making a corkboard or chalkboard. I am totally going to go for the sheet metal/chalkboard combo (okay, so it's been in there for over a year now). And you've inspired me to paint it, rather than stain it. Now, I just have to decide on the color... Thanks!!

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  9. I'm always going to junk shops, and I can NEVER find frames for this purpose. I'm so jealous. I'm also wondering - do you have an outdoor space for all these projects - I'm not sure I want to go crazy with a can of spray paint inside my house.

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  10. i don't believe that you have a real job. you just CLAIM to go to work but really you are making the cutest projects ever at home all day. It's seriously the only explanation for your constant stream of crafty awesomeness.

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  11. That's such a cute idea! And a sweet way of staying in touch. I love the yellow.

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  12. That's so cool and I love the yellow :)

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  13. i want a chalkboard so bad. but i am lazy about putting the work into finding/making one.

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  14. I LOVE this! You are too adorable!

    And the yellow is perfect!

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  15. Looks amazing. Love the color choice. I'd like to try this project at home. I was reading your instructions and perhaps I'm a bit dense, but where does the piece of wood come into play? Does it go behind the metal? Thanks so much for all your ideas.

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  16. Sorry, Meredith. My instructions were pretty sketchy. The wood does go behind the metal. The sheet metal is pretty thin and definitely needs the support of the wood behind it.

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  17. Wow...I saw this idea too, but I must say that I LOVE the yellow! Darling! :)

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  18. Rachel what a great idea to put this on the inside of the door.

    For fun last year I painted a old frame a glossy black and used the chalkboard paint and hung it on the outside of the door with "welcome friends".

    I love the yellow. xoxo

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  19. Cute cute cute! Where do you keep the chalk?

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  20. Oh, wow! I love this idea and love the yellow! I think I will put this project on my ever growing to do list:)

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  21. I'm crazy for this idea! Thanks.

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  22. Yes, another image to further my chalkboard obsession! I love the yellow, as it makes it modern and fun.

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  23. what an adorable project - I need to do one for me and my new roommate!

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  24. Rachel, the yellow is divine. What I actually said: "Oooooo." I have been wanting to do something chalkboard/magnetic in our kitchen (stainless steel=not magnetic), with maybe a bright red frame, for awhile now. This was great. Also would be a good project for my daughter's room with some alphabet magnets! AND my sister has tons of leftover chalkboard paint.

    By the time your posts hit my reader, there are always 30 comments already!

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  25. looks like ny, like a taxi cab ready to go!

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  26. Sooo CUTE...we both did a similar DIY on our blogs... ; )

    Jen Ramos
    'Cards & Prints You'll Love...'
    www.madebygirl.com
    madebygirl.blogspot.com

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  27. This is FABULOUS! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

    I don't know how you do it, but you always pick the BEST paint colors!

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  28. Wow this is beautiful! I feel like this could easily sell for $100 at Anthropologie. Thanks for the tutorial and the unending inspiration!

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  29. i like the idea.i guess i'll have a try on it:)

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  30. Okay, so as I said last week, your shakers inspired me to go thrifting last weekend (and I did!). This is also super cool. At some point my entire studio might be repainted vintage. Actually I have a dresser set I repainted http://makeundermylife.blogspot.com/2009/01/where-i-work-part-2.html

    But your fun color choices make me want to go for something more bold.

    Also- if your no shopping rule does not apply to completely vintage/reused items, the necklace you want on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21484843
    is actually completely vintage- we didn't change a thing. :)

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  31. GORGEOUS! You have such a wonderful eye for happy colors. This is one of my favorite chalkboard paint creations.

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  32. What a great idea. I love the contrast of the yellow against the dark chalkboard. A clever idea and thrifty which is always good!

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  33. Found via Design Sponge.

    Love the yellow, love the cut outs, love that you've mounted it to the back of your door!

    So impressed.

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  34. Hi Rachel, is the piece of wood you had cut behind the metal you spray painted and then then both are screwed to the frame? If not, what was the wood for and how did you attach the metal to the frame? Do you have to have a drill for metal or something? Thanks, this was a great makeover.

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